CareerGPS

Locomotive Engineers
Summary Occupational Forecast Data for Locomotive Engineers
Employment Employment Change Average Annual Job Openings Wage & Training Levels
2018 2023 Numerical Percent New Jobs Replacement Jobs Total Median Hourly Median Annual Training Levels
216 219 3 1.33% 1 17 18 $30.77 $64,000 High school diploma or equivalent
Description: Drive electric, diesel-electric, steam, or gas-turbine-electric locomotives to transport passengers or freight. Interpret train orders, electronic or manual signals, and railroad rules and regulations.
Staffing Pattern Data Forecast Data Source: EMSI (2nd Quarter 2018)

Occupation Details

The information in this section represents occupational characteristics included in O*NET which defines key features of an occupation as a standardized, measurable set of variables called "descriptors". These distinguishing characteristics of an occupation are described in greater detail in the O*NET Content Model. All items are listed in descending order of importance.

  • Monitor gauges or meters that measure speed, amperage, battery charge, or air pressure in brakelines or in main reservoirs.
  • Observe tracks to detect obstructions.
  • Interpret train orders, signals, or railroad rules and regulations that govern the operation of locomotives.
  • Receive starting signals from conductors and use controls such as throttles or air brakes to drive electric, diesel-electric, steam, or gas turbine-electric locomotives.
  • Confer with conductors or traffic control center personnel via radiophones to issue or receive information concerning stops, delays, or oncoming trains.
  • Operate locomotives to transport freight or passengers between stations or to assemble or disassemble trains within rail yards.
  • Respond to emergency conditions or breakdowns, following applicable safety procedures and rules.
  • Check to ensure that brake examination tests are conducted at shunting stations.
  • Call out train signals to assistants to verify meanings.
  • Inspect locomotives to verify adequate fuel, sand, water, or other supplies before each run or to check for mechanical problems.
  • Prepare reports regarding any problems encountered, such as accidents, signaling problems, unscheduled stops, or delays.
  • Check to ensure that documentation, such as procedure manuals or logbooks, are in the driver's cab and available for staff use.
  • Inspect locomotives after runs to detect damaged or defective equipment.

Knowledge

69%
Transportation - Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
53%
Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
50%
English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

Skills

75%
Operation and Control - Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
75%
Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
65%
Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
62%
Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
62%
Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
60%
Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
56%
Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
56%
Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
53%
Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
50%
Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
50%
Time Management - Managing one's own time and the time of others.

Abilities

78%
Far Vision - The ability to see details at a distance.
78%
Control Precision - The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
75%
Selective Attention - The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
75%
Response Orientation - The ability to choose quickly between two or more movements in response to two or more different signals (lights, sounds, pictures). It includes the speed with which the correct response is started with the hand, foot, or other body part.
75%
Depth Perception - The ability to judge which of several objects is closer or farther away from you, or to judge the distance between you and an object.
72%
Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
72%
Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
72%
Manual Dexterity - The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
72%
Reaction Time - The ability to quickly respond (with the hand, finger, or foot) to a signal (sound, light, picture) when it appears.
69%
Multilimb Coordination - The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
69%
Perceptual Speed - The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes compa
66%
Auditory Attention - The ability to focus on a single source of sound in the presence of other distracting sounds.
66%
Rate Control - The ability to time your movements or the movement of a piece of equipment in anticipation of changes in the speed and/or direction of a moving object or scene.
66%
Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
66%
Flexibility of Closure - The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
66%
Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
66%
Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
62%
Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
60%
Finger Dexterity - The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
60%
Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
60%
Arm-Hand Steadiness - The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
56%
Time Sharing - The ability to shift back and forth between two or more activities or sources of information (such as speech, sounds, touch, or other sources).
56%
Hearing Sensitivity - The ability to detect or tell the differences between sounds that vary in pitch and loudness.
56%
Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
56%
Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
56%
Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
53%
Visualization - The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
53%
Visual Color Discrimination - The ability to match or detect differences between colors, including shades of color and brightness.

Work Activities

83%
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material - Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
83%
Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards - Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
83%
Getting Information - Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
82%
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events - Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
81%
Controlling Machines and Processes - Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
72%
Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings - Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
68%
Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment - Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
68%
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge - Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
68%
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates - Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
67%
Processing Information - Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
65%
Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information - Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
64%
Handling and Moving Objects - Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
59%
Documenting/Recording Information - Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
55%
Making Decisions and Solving Problems - Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
52%
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships - Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
50%
Performing General Physical Activities - Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
Title Job Zone Two: Some Preparation Needed
Overall Experience Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.
Job Training Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
Job Zone Examples These occupations often involve using your knowledge and skills to help others. Examples include sheet metal workers, forest fire fighters, customer service representatives, physical therapist aides, salespersons (retail), and tellers.
Education These occupations usually require a high school diploma.

Interests

Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outsi
Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Work Styles

Stress Tolerance - Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.

Work Values

Support - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.